In their best game of the season so far, the University of Calgary Dinos defeated the University of Manitoba Bisons 34-31 on Sept. 22. Compared with the week before, the entire team came out with a different attitude and followed through with their game. The Bisons entered the match ranked seventh in the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union and were the only unbeaten club in Canada West until the Dinos came to play. Last year, Manitoba conquered the Dinos in both regular season contests: 32-11 in Winnipeg and 27-22 in Calgary.
Head Coach Tony Fasano agreed the offence played their best game so far this season. Lincoln Blumell completed 12 of 21 passes for Calgary for 265 yards and three touchdowns.
"The biggest change this week compared to last was execution, and when it is not followed through it leads to fumbles, turnovers and mistakes," Fasano remarked.
This week the Dinos were executing, which led to the Bisons being ousted in the first quarter as the U of C took a quick 14-0 lead. Calgary continued to play back-and-forth football, always keeping the edge on their side. Manitoba made a valiant effort late in the fourth quarter, but the Dinos' solid perseverance kept them ahead in the final minutes.
"I felt that I had more time to throw, and it made a big difference. Given that there was more time, it was a more relaxed game and the offense played an impressive game," remarked quarterback Lincoln Blumell.
Defensive player of the game Warren Buckler added that, "the defence played well in the first three quarters and held out for the last one. The difference this week was the offence, they had 500 yards of offence and it showed on the scoreboard."
The Dinos had 519 yards in total offence and forced four Manitoba fumbles. Dean Fisher had an outstanding game, leading the Calgary rushers with 22 carries for 141 yards and a touchdown. It is unfortunate that this game could not have been played in front of the 5,000 fans that were at last week's game.
Next week's game is important being against the University of Alberta Golden Bears in Edmonton. Canada West standings are very congested with the Dinos tied for second place after this game.
What Calgary needs to work on now is the point spread between themselves and the teams they are tied with. It is still early enough in the season that the Dinos could go far. Calgary will not meet with the Bisons or Golden Bears after these opportunities because of the uneven Canada West scheduling. The next home game will be on Oct. 13 against the Regina Rams. The Dinos played the Rams in their first game of the year, losing 31-25. The difference between those 6 points may be you. Hope to see you there!